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Bravery Award for teenager who kept friend alive with CPR

 Noah Winders is holding his bravery award and standing beside his friend Charlie Rutter. Charlie has his arm around Noah's shoulders.  Behind them are a large group of other boys in their school uniforms.


“Noah took over and continued with chest compressions until an emergency crew arrived and treated Charlie,” explained Fionnuala Rutter, whose son Charlie was kept alive by Noah when he fell during basketball training last year.  

Teenage hero, Noah Winders, from Castleknock, Co Dublin, recently received a bravery award from the HSE National Ambulance Service (NAS) in recognition of his actions.

Noah, who is fully trained in CPR, carried out chest compressions on his teammate until the arrival of the emergency services during the incident at St Vincent’s Basketball Club in Glasnevin. Almost a year on, Charlie has had an internal defibrillator fitted, has come through his mock Junior Certificate exams, and is doing well.

Speaking about the incident, Fionnuala explained how she had “dropped Charlie off for training at St Vincent’s Basketball Club at 9 am on 23rd April last year.  Charlie had started the warm-up, running up and down the hall. He fell over and it was thought that he had tripped. He was helped up and he continued, but he fell over again. 

“Charlie’s coach, Dave Winders (Noah’s dad), started CPR and then Noah took over and continued until a Dublin Fire Brigade crew arrived and treated Charlie with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

“We were told Charlie had been down for several minutes and that there was a risk of brain damage because it was initially thought little oxygen had been going to his brain,’’ Fionnuala added.

The incident came to the attention of the HSE via a programme established between the National Ambulance Service and Children’s Hospital Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin. Referrals are made by the Cardiology Consultants in Crumlin to the NAS Community Engagement Team on behalf of children who have experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest or who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening cardiac condition. 

The NAS Community Engagement Team then links in with the children’s families and schools and provides appropriate CPR and AED training.

In recent weeks the HSE National Ambulance Service presented Noah with the special Bravery Award in recognition of the courage he showed while rescuing his friend. The 16-year-old received his CPR experience while training to be a lifeguard, and those who were present at the incident last year were impressed with his calm and brave response.

Making the presentation, Amanda Ross, Community Engagement Officer with the HSE National Ambulance Service, said it was “important to recognise that young people in their teens can very effectively administer CPR, especially when they have received the appropriate training. We would encourage any young person interested to avail of CPR training opportunities.”

The NAS Community Engagement Team delivers CPR training in schools, as well as supporting the Irish Heart Foundation’s CPR for Schools initiative around the country. Training is also available from voluntary Community First Responder groups. Find more information on becoming a Community First Responder.